Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense in Texas, and it can result in both criminal and civil penalties. Depending on how you were arrested and whether you caused an accident due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face a civil lawsuit from another driver and criminal charges from the state. When most people think of the penalties for DWI in Texas, they immediately consider fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges. However, there is also an administrative side of a DWI case that involves the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
From the moment a person is arrested for DWI in Texas, there are two matters that must be addressed as soon as possible: the criminal case and the administrative license revocation (ALR) case with DPS regarding your driving privileges. The ALR hearing must be requested within 15 days, or it is waived, and your license will be suspended. Hire us immediately, so that we can request a hearing to contest the suspension of your driving privileges.
The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has extensive experience handling complex DWI cases. Our firm not only handles criminal proceedings but also represents clients in their ALR hearings. These ALR hearings often present important opportunities to those charged with DWI in Texas, potentially providing avenues for avoiding criminal prosecution. However, you need an experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer to help you navigate your ALR hearing.
While it is not technically required of you to hire legal counsel for an ALR hearing, working with an experienced private defense attorney can offer much better results in your DWI case and your ALR hearing. The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has successfully represented many clients in ALR hearings and related criminal cases for DWI. We know how to efficiently navigate ALR hearings on behalf of our clients to help them avoid license suspensions.
Any criminal case involves strict court procedures, and every defendant will face unique challenges as they navigate their cases. Your Houston DWI defense attorney can help you prepare for your ALR hearing, and if successful, you may not need to worry about further criminal court proceedings. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the importance of an ALR hearing and consequently do not prepare appropriately for them. Working with the right lawyer could mean you can end your case at the ALR hearing or at least establish important facts that could help you avoid conviction in your subsequent criminal case.
Ultimately, the right attorney handling your case means you can approach this difficult situation with confidence and peace of mind. The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has the resources and experience necessary to guide clients through the most challenging cases. We encourage all DWI defense clients to take full advantage of the potential an ALR hearing could offer.
After an arrest for DWI, the suspect will be assigned a hearing date for their criminal case. However, if they wish to take advantage of the potential benefits of an ALR hearing, they must request one as soon as possible within the 15-day window it is available after an arrest.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not “automatically” lose your driver’s license after being arrested for DWI. You have important rights at your disposal, and they should be exercised. We’ve helped hundreds of clients avoid any license suspension following their DWI charge.
Also, if your license is already suspended, or even if you’ve never had a license, you can still request a hearing in order to take advantage of the discovery process. “Discovery” refers to sharing important files and evidence between both sides of a case. The ALR hearing can enable you to view the prosecution’s case in great detail before your criminal case begins. In many cases, defendants can cite issues with the prosecutor’s evidence or testimony from arresting officers. When an ALR hearing reveals that there are no grounds to revoke the defendant’s driver’s license, this could amount to grounds for dismissal of their criminal charges.
While the ALR hearing is an administrative process with the Texas DPS, it can significantly influence your criminal case proceedings. For example, during the ALR hearing, you have the chance to prove that you do not qualify for license suspension and/or that you did not commit the offense in question. In addition, it’s possible to present evidence during your hearing that would exonerate you in the subsequent criminal case. For example, if you were arrested after refusing to submit to a chemical test for DWI, you may use the ALR hearing to prove the police did not have appropriate grounds to conduct the arrest in the first place or that they mishandled the testing procedure somehow.
Your Houston DWI defense attorney can help you make a compelling case during your ALR hearing, and everything discussed during this hearing requires consideration for your criminal court proceedings. Your attorney will assist you through the ALR hearing, including the discovery process in which both sides of the case must share their important evidence with one another. The evidence you present at your ALR hearing could be sufficient to have your DWI case dropped outright, but it may also prove useful if your case still escalates to criminal court proceedings.
In addition to potentially saving your license, the ALR hearing can be used as a discovery tool to obtain important documents and to have an opportunity to cross-examine, under oath, the officers involved with your case. Transcripts of the officers’ sworn testimony at the ALR can later be used to impeach the officers at the criminal trial if their testimony changes over time. Sometimes evidence obtained at the ALR hearing can even lead to dismissal of the criminal case. Never waive your right to a hearing.
Call a Houston DWI lawyer today to preserve your right to contest your license suspension. Time is a crucial factor in every criminal case, so you must secure legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after an arrest. The sooner you hire a defense attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case. The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, can help ensure you meet the ALR hearing scheduling deadline and prepare accordingly. Depending on the unique details of your case, you may or may not need to brace for difficult criminal court proceedings.
Our team strives to help every client we represent avoid conviction and have their charges dismissed whenever possible. If this isn’t an option, our goal is to minimize our client’s penalties as much as state law permits. ALR hearings are important for many reasons, but primarily because they provide an early exit point for a difficult DWI case when handled appropriately. We can assist our clients in gathering exculpatory evidence, citing due process violations in the police’s handling of their arrest, or highlighting failures of the prosecution to adhere to proper procedures.
It’s natural to have many questions after a DWI arrest in the Houston, TX, area. However, you must take full advantage of your right to remain silent and say nothing until you have legal counsel advising you. If you are facing DWI charges and intend to schedule an ALR hearing for your case, contact the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, today and schedule your free consultation with our team.